An Interview with Brian Marshall of Alter Bridge at Download Festival 2014

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Alter Bridge Band Photo 2012

Download Festival 2014 last month saw US hard rock outfit Alter Bridge play their most high profile UK show to date, taking the slot directly under Aerosmith on the Stephen Sutton main stage on the final day of the festival. Jamie caught up with their bassist Brian Marshall a few hours prior to show time to discuss current and future plans, playing in the UK as a whole and whether one day they’ll make it to Wembley Stadium. Now over to Jamie and Mr Brian Marshall himself…

Welcome back, this is your biggest slot on the line-up so far, you guys must be pretty excited…

Brian Marshall: We are thrilled! Thank you, and glad to be here.

Is this your biggest european festival slot anywhere so far?

Brian: Yes this is by far the biggest UK festival slot, European I think we’re about the same over in Germany but this is by far cooler! I’m not going to lie, this is Download, it’s like the Grandmother of festivals and everybody tries to emulate this type of bill and three day event and it’s a lot of fun.

Will you have time to see any other bands while you’re here or will you be too busy doing press and getting ready?

Brian: We’re going to be doing some more press, we only got here about an hour ago so before our show I kinda keep to my quarters and do a lot of warming up, go through the set a lot. I don’t want to run into any minefields on stage so I like to practice and keep my hands warm. I’m one of those guys who’s kinda a perfectionist and I want everything everything to sound and feel as good as it can on stage for the fans and that’s important to me.
Jamie: Well I’m sure that’s very much appreciated by all your fans.
Brian: Yeah, and long story short I don’t wanna fuck up! *laughs*
Jamie: *laughs* Well that’s perfectly understandable, no one wants to fuck up at a show like this one!
Brian: Yeah, totally.

You’ve been at other festivals and there’s more festivals to come after this if I’ve read your schedule right…

Brian: That’s correct, we’ve got Graspop coming up, we’ve done Rock AM Ring & Rock IM Park, Forta Rock, Nova Rock is coming up, it’s that time of year which is always exciting.
Jamie: I know you also recently came off a tour in the States with the Monster Truck guys, how did that go?
Brian: Amazing, they’re quite a talented group of Canadians. They’ve got a really cool sound and a great group of guys and it went over well, it was 95% sold out in the States so we’re starting to see some ground there. We’ve done most of our touring and had most of our success in the UK & Europe so to see it coming around in the States is something we hoped for for some time but it looks like it’s starting to make a turn which is great.

Are you doing any of the US touring or radio festivals after the European festivals have finished?

Brian: We just did Rock On The Range and we did one in Jacksonville (Florida), we’ve done quite a few so far but I know there’s more coming up, and there’s more in October. Myles is going to be going out with Slash quite a bit soon but we’ll probably break camp and shut things down for a bit while he’s out but we’ll hopefully get together late next year and start to work on a new record.
Jamie: So from the sounds of that then for about a year there won’t be much happening in the Alter Bridge camp, it’ll be Slash and Myles and Mark’s solo stuff and anything else you and Scott might want to be doing?
Brian: Exactly. October and then early in the new year we do plan on coming back over here so we’re gonna do a UK and European run, it’s in the works. It hasn’t been announced formally but we are talking about it.

Fantastic, we’ll all be looking forward to that. It must have been quite surreal for you guys to come back to Wembley a few months ago to where you filmed the DVD which was a big moment for you guys and then to come back and it was sold out all over again, that must have been pretty cool.

Brian: Indeed, yeah, you know it’s great. Our fans have really spoken over here, I don’t know…
Jamie: Do you think the fact that Creed never really got here at all and then when you first started Alter Bridge on One Day Remains you hit the UK four or five times. Do you think because you spent so much time here initially that’s why it took off here before everywhere else?
Brian: No doubt we spent a lot of time over here. I don’t know man it just resonates with the people here, the UK fans have really understood what Alter Bridge is about from the start and they’ve spoken. They’re die hards! They love their rock n’roll and it’s a completely different set up from the rest of the world. Each time we came we’d go like from a small venue, a very small, club in London, to is it the Hammersmith?
Jamie: Yeah the Hammersmith Apollo.
Brian: The Hammersmith Apollo, to Brixton and then each time it was growing. We just couldn’t deny that, we had to keep coming back and it’s worked out great for us.
Jamie: Fantastic, well there’s not too many bigger places left in London now you’ve nearly hit the top.
Brian: Wembley Stadium? *laughs*
Jamie: Not going to lie I’d love to see that so much.
Brian: I dunno, *laughs*, maybe one day?

When everything does shut down in the Alter Bridge do you have plans to work on any other projects? I know you were working with Mark on his solo stuff for awhile but have you got anything else in the pipeline?

Brian: Nothing that I have planned right now, I’m leaving my options open. I have an interest in all kinds of music, even in the touring department, if it’s not on stage then I’m thinking about taking up some kind of role in tour management. Country music I’m a fan of, you know I’m a good ol’ southern boy from Florida so I don’t know yet, I have a new family so I want to spend some time with them.
Jamie: Absolutely, we all appreciate that life on the road when you have a family is never easy.
Brian: Exactly.

Brian Marshall and the rest of Alter Bridge are hitting the road in the US for a string of shows in October with special guests California Breed. You can check out our review of Alter Bridge’s performance sub-headlining for Aerosmith at Download 2014 (along with the rest of the Sunday) right here. Any further updates from any of the Alter Bridge camp on the band or any of their other projects will be reported on here at Rock Sins when we have it. You can also check in with Alter Bridge on their official website www.alterbridge.com.

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